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Xavier Thuizat appointed Air France’s new Head Sommelier

© Victor Bellot
© Victor Bellot

Air France has chosen Xavier Thuizat, Head Sommelier at Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, to sign its future wine, champagne and spirits list in all its travel cabins and lounges at its Paris airports. The Burgundy-born sommelier will also be putting together a new range of French beers.

Meilleur Sommelier de France in 2022, Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2023 and recent winner of the Michelin Guide’s Grand Prix de la Sommellerie 2024, Xavier Thuizat is renowned for the quality and relevance of his selections. To create this new offer, he and the Air France teams will be organising blind tastings in all the wine-growing regions of France to identify the exceptional wines to be enjoyed on board or while relaxing at the airport.

With Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône Valley, Languedoc-Roussillon, the Loire Valley and Alsace, France’s finest grape varieties will be featured on the new Air France wine list, signed by the sommelier. The list will accompany passengers in their choice of wine, a highlight of any trip on Air France.

Xavier Thuizat is taking over from Paolo Basso, world’s best sommelier in 2013, who has been producing a high-class wine and champagne list for the airline’s customers since 2014.

“I would like to thank Paolo Basso, who for ten years has been committed to promoting the finest wines from France’s vineyards for all our customers, in our lounges and on board our aircraft. I am delighted to welcome Xavier Thuizat who, I am sure, will continue in this role with just as much talent and passion” said Fabien Pelous, Air France’s SVP Customer Experience.

In all its travel cabins, including Economy, and in its airport lounges, Air France offers a wide range of fine wines, champagnes and spirits promoting French vineyards and châteaux. Every year, over a million bottles of champagne and over 8 million bottles of wine are served to Air France customers.

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About Xavier Thuizat

Originally from the Burgundy wine-growing region, Xavier Thuizat is especially fond of this area of France, which he highlights through his work. Having worked at prestigious gastronomic establishments such as Relais Bernard Loiseau, Le Meurice, Pierre Gagnaire and the Peninsula, he now in charge of wine and spirits at the Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel. Renowned for the quality and relevance of his selections, he contributes in particular to the development of the hotel’s wine cellar, which is one of the richest in France with over 2,500 references. Also a Rosewood Sommelier Europe, Xavier Thuizat is responsible for showcasing the group’s European portfolio. 2022 marked a turning point in his career, with the award of Meilleur Sommelier de France and in 2023, he was awarded the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France. On the strength of these awards, he is committed to passing on his knowledge and values to his colleagues, in the hope of training the next generation of talent. In 2024, he was awarded the grand Prize for Sommellerie at the Michelin Guide ceremony. That same year, he became Air France’s Head Sommelier.

About Hôtel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel

Fronted by the majestic architecture of Ange-Jacques Gabriel, Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel overlooks the spectacular Place de la Concorde, one of the most beautiful city squares in the world. Built at Louis XV’s request, the hotel became the residence of the illustrious Count de Crillon and his family for many years and was transformed into a hotel in 1909 under the guidance of architect Walter-André Destailleur. Since then, its guest list has featured celebrities, politicians, artists, princes and queens, all attracted to the hotel’s unique and perennial reputation for excellence. Hôtel de Crillon has long since secured its iconic status as a one-of-a-kind property, a living testament to the very best way of life France has to offer. Following a four-year transformation, the hotel reopened in 2017 and now boasts 124 guestrooms and suites, four restaurants, Sense, A Rosewood Spa, a newly created swimming pool, three heritage landmark salons for meetings and functions, and more. More information on

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